As we previously mentioned, a self hosted wordpress website is the way forward if you want the freedom to create a great website, and this is borne out by the info graphic attached to this post, 48% use wordpress and 39% of those self host.
This is where most people stop as they assume that it must be very complicated and time consuming to setup but it really isn’t. First of all you will need to setup a hosting account. There are literally hundreds of companies out there that will provide this service. Here is a link to the top ten hosting companies of 2013.
I personally use HostGator and over the years they have been first rate, excellent customer support when you need it 24/7 over the phone, email or live chat.
You need to get a hosting provider so you can effectively rent some space on their servers to install the wordpress software and manage your webiste.
Reasons why I use Hostgator:
- As already mentioned, excellent customer support
- Reliability, I have never suffered any downtime at all which is important if your website is your business.
- It’s so easy to use, wordpress installation is just a click, I will show you how later on and also include some how to videos.
- Affordable, pricing plans start at just $3.96 a month.
So all you need to do right now is go to your chosen hosting providers webpage and click on the hosting package you want to buy.
From her on I will be talking about Hotgator as this is what I am most familiar with, however the process will be the same for all the other providers too.
Once you have chosen your package you will be presented with this page,
You will notice the next step is to sort out your domain name.
A domain name is a human-friendly address, sometimes called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The internet works on IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. These are numbers, much like a telephone number. However, most people find it much easier to remember names rather than strings of numbers. Your domain name is unique to you. When someone types it into an Internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla FireFox) they’ll be taken directly to your space on the Internet where they can view your site or files. There are many companies on the web that you can buy a domain name from provided it hasn’t already been bought. I would personally buy the domain name through your hosting provider as it makes life a lot simpler because you won’t have to go through the time consuming process of changing nameservers. For example, if i buy a domain name through hostgator it will be registered with that server and I can then attach my wordpress website to that domain name there and then.
If however, you were to buy a domain name through a different company you would have to transfer the domains registration to your new host provider and this can take up to 48 hours.
So back to this step, you just type in the name you would like for your website and the system will then automatically check if it is available. For a search engine optimisation point of view, try and choose a name that’t relevant to your website, that explains a bit about what it is, for example, with our business Clarissa Lloyd Photography the URL is actually clarissalloyd.com. Had I known more at the time I would have gone with something that had some keywords in it like, Clarissa Lloyd Wedding Photography.com.
What designation should you choose? .com .org .net or .co.uk to name a few, follow the link to a post I made about this in our SEO (search engine optimisation) section.
Then just fill out the rest of the required information and click create account at the bottom. You will then be sent an email with all your account details and also a link to your Control Panel or Cpanel.
Cpanel is basically an interface that allows you to manage your website. It is through cpanel that you will be able to quickinstall the wordpress software. Don’t be intimidated by all the buttons it is actually very simple. I have embedded a video illustrating how to do this but all you have to do is scroll down until you see the icon that says “quickinstall”, click it then on the left side of the next page click wordpress, then click continue. It will then ask you to enter the domain name that you bought earlier on so that the wordpress software can be mated to the domain.
You will now be given your login details for wordpress and the URL to get there. It is through wordpress that you will be able to manage your website. More on this in my next post.
So now you have chosen a hosting provider, setup an account, bought a domain and installed wordpress to that domain. You also have 2 accounts now effectively, Cpanel to manage your website and wordpress to create your content. Bookmark your blog. You’ll want to come back to your blog on a regular basis, so it’s a good idea to bookmark the two main pages: the front-end and the WordPress back-end.
Not bad going for an hours work or so!